As a Sabres fan, I must admit that I thoroughly enjoy seeing the Bruins struggle to start the season. It seems like so long ago that they were a defensive juggernaut shutting down all comers and making deep runs in the playoffs, including a Stanley Cup victory. In actuality, it was in 2013 that the Bruins were last in the Cup finals, a paltry two years ago. Now, their defense is an absolute trainwreck which is bad news for Tuukka Rask, who gave up 6 goals on 23 shots today against the Lightning. He’s an incredible goalie but there’s only so much that you can do when you’re repeatedly facing great chances. If you’re a Rask owner, I’d be asking around to gauge interest, not to sell very low but if someone wants Rask based on his reputation, I’d pounce.
Here was else I saw around the league on Monday:
Sergei Bobrovsky – 29 saves on 33 shots. He actually played extremely well; the Sabres would have scored 7-8 goals if not for some big saves from Bob. I’m a bit concerned about the Blue Jackets but I’m not at the level of panic that I am with Rask with Bob. The Blue Jackets have a much better roster than the Bruins and have gone against a great Rangers team twice and a Sabres team desperate to not start 0-3 at home.
Nick Foligno – Assist, 7 shots and 6 PIM. Good to see him stuff the boxscore even though he wasn’t particularly good offensively while his linemates were. Lots of dumb minor penalties were a nice bonus for his owners!
Brandon Saad – Power play goal on three shots. Looked good with Ryan Johansen (assist on 3 shots). Both of these guys have lived up to the hype so far while the rest of their team hasn’t.
Rasmus Ristolainen – Goal and assist with 4 shots in 25 minutes of ice time. He’s looked great jumping into the play offensively and has a spot on the power play locked in. I had him top 200 in the preseason (most had outside the top 300) so I clearly believe; he’s a great 5th defenseman in 12 man and for me, must own in 14’ers and deeper.
Jack Eichel – Highlight reel goal with 2 shots. I’m sure you’ll see his goal on SportsCenter or any other sports shows for a while. Amazing start for the 18 year old.
Matt Moulson – Goal and two assists on 3 shots. Now that he has some quality teammates to play with, expect Moulson to go past the 20 goal mark again.
Ryan O’Reilly – First goal as a Sabre plus an assist on 5 shots in over 20 minutes of ice time. Took over the game for stretches. Sabres are counting on him for big minutes so the points should keep coming.
Chad Johnson – 22 saves on 24 shots earning the win. He has a couple tough matchups in his next two games (at Florida and at Tampa) so I’d be cautious if you’re going to play him but he has looked good in his two starts.
Brian Boyle – 2 goals in the Lightning blowout. Unownable for the most part unless your league counts faceoff wins and hits; even then, he’s fringe at best.
Jonathan Drouin – Goal on 3 shots. Looks like his breakout is coming this year; if you can somehow acquire him in dynasty leagues, do it. In season long leagues, he’s going to be a great mid-round value if you drafted him.
Victor Hedman – 2 assists as did his teammates Tyler Johnson and Anton Stralman. The more Lightning players you have (assuming they are in the top 6, Ben Bishop, and their top 3 defensemen) the better your team is right now. They are a powerhouse and should continue to put up gaudy offensive numbers as a team.
Loui Eriksson – Two goals on 3 shots. While the defense continues to struggle, most of the big guns for the Bruins had a big game against Tampa. Eriksson hasn’t produced in Boston nearly as much as he did in Dallas but there’s still a lot of talent there. He’s worth monitoring to see how things develop in Boston.
David Krejci – A goal and 2 assists (all power play) with 4 shots and 2 PIM. As long as he stays healthy, Krejci is going to have a big season. Must own in 12’ers and deeper.
Torey Krug – Three assists (all power play) with three shots. The lone bright spot on the Bruins blueline, Krug looks well on his way to having a career season.
Thomas Greiss – 22 saves on 24 shots in the win over the Jets. Jaroslav Halak should be back in the near future but Greiss is a good streamer in the meantime.
Josh Bailey – Goal on 7 shots with 2 PIM. He’s currently in the top 6 and on the second power play unit so he’s fantasy relevant but not to the point where I’d add him yet in 12’ers. I need to see more consistency before I make the plunge.
Brock Nelson – Same exact line as Bailey. I’m much more inclined to own Nelson than Bailey since his role is more certain at this point. Even if he’s on the third line, his power play time is secure and we’ve seen sustained production from Nelson last season.
John Tavares – Goal and two assists with 5 shots. Yeah, he’s good.
Dustin Byfuglien – Goal with 4 shots and 4 PIM. Vintage Big Buff performance.
Mark Scheifele – Goal on two shots with 2 PIM. He’s getting big minutes right now with some talented wingers so acquire Scheifele if you can.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Assist with 3 shots and 2 PIM. Ehlers has looked amazing and I’d be targeting him in all leagues if possible. He’s one of the best prospects in the league and has shown no signs of being overwhelmed on the NHL level.
Michal Neuvirth – 31 save shutout for the Flyers with Steve Mason being away from the team for a personal matter. I said yesterday I’m glad I don’t own Mason anywhere and I still wouldn’t want a Flyers goalie. The defense is very bad and they’ll go against a ton of high powered offenses in their division.
Roberto Luongo – Hard luck loser stopping 32 of 33 shots. Looks like prime Luongo right now and he has the potential for a big season.
Aleksander Barkov – 3 shots. He’s worth noting because he played a massive 21:13 in this game. If Florida is counting on Barkov for this many minutes, he’s must own in all leagues and I’d be looking to trade for him before he fully breaks out.
Ryan Miller – 28 saves on 29 shots in the shootout victory. Miller has looked good to start the season and with backup Jacob Markstrom out, look for Miller to start almost all Canucks games in the near future.
Fredrik Andersen – 24 saves on 25 shots, another hard luck loss. Has looked great to start the year and has a firm grip on the Ducks job. The wins will be coming.
Sami Vatanen – Goal and two shots. He’s quarterbacking the first power play unit and the big guns haven’t gotten going yet for the Ducks so good times should be ahead.
Streamers for Tuesday’s games: With a big Tuesday schedule (9 games), there won’t be much need for streaming but I’ll give a few options below:
Joel Ward – (3.1% owned) – Discussed Ward yesterday here . Should be an open game against Washington plus Ward returns against his old team. I expect him to get on the score sheet.
Mike Fisher – (6.4%) – He hasn’t produced in the first two Nashville game but he’s played over 18 minutes each game, is on the second line and first power play unit. The Devils are a horrible team so unless Cory Schneider stands on his head, expect the Predators top 6 to get on the score sheet.
Kevin Klein (8.6% ) – Playing big minutes right now and more importantly, Klein is going to be on the first power play unit with coach Alain Vigneault announcing Dan Boyle will be a healthy scratch.
That’s all for now guys! Enjoy the big slate tonight and as always, please post below with any comments or questions.